Ordering clematis and their care?

hardin(7 SE OK)March 29, 2008

When ordering clematis vines, do you have more success with the ones in small pots or bareroot? I have 4 that I really like, Will Goodwin, Crystal Fountain, Betty Corning for my main gardens. I also like the Sweet Autumn, but I will put in in the backyard on my fence, as it gets much bigger and wilder. The Will Goodwin is the only one that is bareroot? Is there anything extra I have to do for it? And as far as Group 2 and 3 pruning, I have the basic idea on how, but I need more specific details on that. Thanks.

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I would plant in one gallon containers first to establish the roots and to make certain they are watered because they can fry in summer's heat. I bought a 3 pack last year from Costco in which one of them was a runt and the first to die, but the other two planted in one gallons are running this year. BR.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 4:47PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

I have to agree with Bullthistle. Small plants (pint or even some quart sized pots) and bareroots do much better if potted up in one gallon sized pots, grown out for at least the current growing season, and then planted. You can give the plants the water and fertilizer they need and know that you are giving them enough by the water running out of the bottom of the pot. In the ground, you really can't see if the roots are getting enough water or not. When potting them up, plant them several inches deeper in the new pots than they were in their original pots since this buries dormant nodes which can give rise to new vines out from the crown of the plant. Do this also when you plant the clematis in the ground.

As far as pruning goes, both type IIs and type IIIs should be treated as type IIIs during the first year or so that you have them. This allows the plants to develop a strong root system, stimulates more dormant buds to break and gives you more vines, and really helps to get the plants off to a good start.

After the first year, you only have to trim type IIs to contain their size or trim out deadwood. However in my zone 7a garden, I have treated some of my type IIs as IIIs their entire lives and they have generated more vines out of the crown than those treated as tradtitional type IIs. I also will treat some of my type IIs as type IIs early in the spring (no trimming back) and then in midsummer when they typically brown out in the heat and humidity, cut them back by half or so, keep them watered and fertilized, and gotten a second flush of blooms late in the summer or early fall.

The thing to remember is that the pruning rules are not written in stone and are general guidelines to be followed until you determine what works best for you in your zone.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 2:18PM
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hardin(7 SE OK)

Thanks to both of you. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:12PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

nckvilledudes....So how low do you prune the new vines?


    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 6:33PM
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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Chills, if you are referring to how low to prune newly planted clematis, I am rather zealous about it and prune back to the second set of buds from the ground. How low that is will depend on the plant itself and how far apart the nodes and buds are. Then when the plant begins to push out new growth from the axillary buds, I will let them 2 or 3 sets of leaves and pinch out the growing tips. Everytime you do this, you increase the number of new vines by 2. John Howells in his book on the viticellas, recommends cutting them back to ground level, but I have never gone that far.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 1:49AM
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